Senedd hosts memorial service for 20th Anniversary of Srebrenica genocide

Published 02/07/2015   |   Last Updated 27/07/2015

​Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding AM, and First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, will jointly host a memorial service at the Senedd, on 8 July, marking the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide

This commemorative event is being organised by the UK-based charity, Remembering Srebrenica, and will start at 18.00.

The memorial service will be one of only three official commemoration events in the UK, with the other events taking place in Westminster Abbey and St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh.

On 11 July, 1995, the Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrenica fell to Serbian Forces and in the following ten days more than 8,000 Muslims were slaughtered in the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of the Second World War.

The Deputy Presiding Officer led a delegation of AMs to Bosnia in April, where they laid a wreath at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Centre.

"I, along with colleagues in the Assembly, were guests of Remembering Srebrenica in Bosnia in April where we heard harrowing first-hand accounts from survivors and the mothers of those killed," said Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding AM.

"It is still hard to believe that this happened in Europe just 20 years ago.  I am proud that the National Assembly will play its part in ensuring that we never forget.  We will welcome survivors to the Senedd to remember what happened in the killing fields of the Balkans just two decades ago."

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones said:

"Some of the darkest moments in Europe's recent history, we will not forget Srebrenica here in Wales.  We want to live in a society that spurns prejudice and embraces tolerance, that's why it's so important we remember and ensure that the intolerance and religious and racial hatred that took place in the Balkans, only twenty years ago, will never be repeated."

Dr Waqar Azmi  OBE, Chairman of Remembering Srebrenica said:

"This year is the 20th anniversary of the genocide that occurred in Srebrenica - the single greatest atrocity committed on European soil since the Second World War and a brutal reminder of man's inhumanity to man.

"Memorial events in Cardiff and across the UK will not only commemorate those men and boys who were systematically murdered in Srebrenica, but allow those present to consider how they might make a personal contribution to help build a better, safer and stronger society through learning the lessons of history."

Four Mothers of Srebrenica - who lost husbands, sons, fathers and brothers in the atrocity - and a genocide survivor are taking part in the event.  Mother Nura Begović and survivor, Nedžad Avdić, will speak about their moving and harrowing experiences of the genocide.